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Project Copernicus Footage; Details

This trailer shows some environments from Project Copernicus, the MMORPG that 38 Studios was developing before their financial situation drove them out of business (thanks alvador). There are details about this on Mobhunter.com, the blog of Steve Danuser (former Creative Director at 38 Studios), who explains it is an environmental fly-through intended for a milestone presentation that never happened, and goes on to discuss other aspects of the game, such as the plan to make it completely free-to-play. Here's a bit more on what they were working towards:

There’s a lot more I’d like to tell you about the game, such as how our fully planned four-year story arc was driven by player participation. How the theme of choice and consequence permeated our systems, content, and world design. How the choices players made during our chapter-based story arc would cause permanent and lasting changes to each server–changes that could be different from other servers. How expansions to the game world had already been mapped out and were tied into that chapter storyline, so the world would grow in a very organic and logical way rather than feeling like expansions were tacked onto the core game by a new team that was bored with the work that had been done before. How our storyline had a real conclusion–because you can’t tell a great story without an ending.

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15. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 24, 2012, 02:32 Jerykk
 
bhcompy wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 12:10:
Jerykk wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 04:15:
Acleacius wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 23:30:
That's a huge problem for most games now days, they spend so much time on architecture and graphics. Then when the game releases quests and the AI are beta at best.

It's bullshit and players get screwed.

AI and quests don't really have anything to do with art. Different people working on different things at the same time. Granted, if less of the budget was spent on art, you could hire more/better AI programmers, designers and writers. However, if you're making an MMO, you really have to create an immersive world that players can spend hours in and that requires a fair amount of visual polish.

Non art items are impacted by art, in a way. CCP had to repurpose the majority of their art team to EVE because it would take forever for good changes to come in to the game because the work was done but the artwork wasn't. Redesigned the graphics engine to allow for advanced shaders, higher poly models, and visible weapon turrets? Cool. All the work is done, but we have no artwork, and we can only do one or two ships per expansion... and there are hundreds of ships. And we're not even talking about the thousands of other ingame assets that need to be updated. Nice.

Obviously updates to the engine renderer will require updated art to show off the new features and improvements. However, like I said, AI programming and quest design have nothing to do with art. You can write, script and design a quest while using placeholder assets.
 
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14. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 12:10 bhcompy
 
Jerykk wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 04:15:
Acleacius wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 23:30:
That's a huge problem for most games now days, they spend so much time on architecture and graphics. Then when the game releases quests and the AI are beta at best.

It's bullshit and players get screwed.

AI and quests don't really have anything to do with art. Different people working on different things at the same time. Granted, if less of the budget was spent on art, you could hire more/better AI programmers, designers and writers. However, if you're making an MMO, you really have to create an immersive world that players can spend hours in and that requires a fair amount of visual polish.

Non art items are impacted by art, in a way. CCP had to repurpose the majority of their art team to EVE because it would take forever for good changes to come in to the game because the work was done but the artwork wasn't. Redesigned the graphics engine to allow for advanced shaders, higher poly models, and visible weapon turrets? Cool. All the work is done, but we have no artwork, and we can only do one or two ships per expansion... and there are hundreds of ships. And we're not even talking about the thousands of other ingame assets that need to be updated. Nice.
 
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13. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 11:10 NKD
 
Yeah, there is zero basis for any kind of fraud allegation. Rhode Island gambled on a risky business venture and lost. There wasn't some massive conspiracy hiding the fact that most MMOs don't do very well. And it's not like Schilling walked away from this any richer. Dude lost an enormous amount of money even for him.

People made their mistakes and have already paid for them. There's no need for additional witch hunting.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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12. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 10:16 WaltC
 
Agreed there was no fraud. The state invested money in a private company in a bid to bring in jobs and that is what the state got. There are no guarantees in business--just ask the Obama administration about Solyndra and solar power...;) (How would you like to have to own up to losing .5 billion dollars of Federal taxpayer money?) By contrast to what the Federal government throws away each year, 38 Studios was peanuts.

But there's the irony...there's no guarantee in business, but without successful business there is no money to pay the taxes that government itself needs to stay solvent--of course, our Federal government hasn't been exactly "solvent" in many decades. If you or I handled our finances the same way that government handles its finances, we'd be in jail, most likely. Why is it that government is able to write bad checks whenever it likes (called deficit spending in gov speak) but you and I cannot?

Anyway, I have to agree with those who see nothing in this trailer or any other trailer I've seen that would come close to justifying 38 Studio's existence. This is what happens when you pull together the money and resources to make a game before you have a concrete idea of the game you want to develop: you spend all of your time and money arguing about what kind of game you "ought" to make. Sadly enough, that should have been known before the company incorporated.

I feel sorry for Schiller. His heart was in the right place. He now knows through bitter experience that the gaming business is nowhere near as idealistic a place as he obviously thought it was. Whether it's game developers or NASA scientists, eating is priority #1--everything else runs a distant second. These folks strung Schiller along as far as possible, which was several years--right up until they closed the doors, turned out the lights and said goodnight.

Lesson learned: people who cannot cook should not open restaurants as their primary business. People who cannot develop game software should not open game development houses as their primary business. People who do these things ignorantly will more than likely just be lead down the primrose path to insolvency.
 
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It is well known that I do not make mistakes--so if you should happen across a mistake in anything I have written, be assured that I did not write it!
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11. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 07:14 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 21:53:
I call bullshit given what we saw in KoA.

Well, if that was true then Deus Ex would be a miserable piece of shit given what we saw in Daikatana.

But it isn't, because Deus Ex was designed by an entirely different team in an entirely different location that had very little interaction with the rest of the company. Kind of like how KoA was by BigHugeGames without any real interaction with the Copernicus staff.
Doesn't mean this would have been good, just means you can't look at one product to judge the other.



Also - what fraud? People keep saying "fraud." Schilling lost millions of his own dollars - he didn't steal anything or misrepresent anything. Being a shitty businessman isn't fraud. Giving money to a shitty businessman is stupid, but also not fraud.
 
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10. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 06:12 InBlack
 
Hey here is some info about our perfect and brilliant game that was never released. It was going to be the perfect MMO. No really, I shit you not. This game was going to be the best!

Excuse me while I find that grain of salt dude.
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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9. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 04:15 Jerykk
 
Acleacius wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 23:30:
That's a huge problem for most games now days, they spend so much time on architecture and graphics. Then when the game releases quests and the AI are beta at best.

It's bullshit and players get screwed.

AI and quests don't really have anything to do with art. Different people working on different things at the same time. Granted, if less of the budget was spent on art, you could hire more/better AI programmers, designers and writers. However, if you're making an MMO, you really have to create an immersive world that players can spend hours in and that requires a fair amount of visual polish.
 
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8. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 02:25 SectorEffector
 
Acleacius wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 23:30:
That's a huge problem for most games now days, they spend so much time on architecture and graphics. Then when the game releases quests and the AI are beta at best.

It's bullshit and players get screwed.


Oh the dev's got screwed right where it hurts and made news about it.
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Q2iICtlIc
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7. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 23:30 Acleacius
 
That's a huge problem for most games now days, they spend so much time on architecture and graphics. Then when the game releases quests and the AI are beta at best.

It's bullshit and players get screwed.
 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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6. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 23:19 Creston
 
How we worked on this for five years, and still weren't in alpha. How we burned through around 100 million dollars, and had little to show except for some marginally pretty scenery. How we had no monsters or characters designed. How we were supposed to ship in 2009, and three years later were talking about MAYBE releasing in 2013.

Yeah, tell us about it, Steve. It sounds like we really missed out on it.

Creston
 
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5. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 22:54 alvador
 
The theory that I'm cursed hasn't entirely been disproven, so you're welcome.  
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4. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 22:26 007Bistromath
 
I like how the sentence structure of this article suggests that alvador is single-handedly to blame for 38 Studios imploding. Thanks, man.  
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3. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 22:05 alvador
 
You go on ahead and call whatever you want. Them's the facts, Jack.  
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2. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 21:53 Cutter
 
I call bullshit given what we saw in KoA. That was the most bland, boring, console driven RPG schlock I've ever seen. One of the few games I quit out of complete boredom. Even playing to the point I did - which I reckon was about 1/2 way through was tedious. Everything he's talking about - now - is all lifted directly from GW2. This never would have happened with Copernicus. Their only focus was getting the console players on board ASAP. Like they were going to spend 100 mil on an F2P game that ends in 4 years. Riiiight, pull the other one, it's got bells on it. Hope the feds crucify Schilling and co. for defrauding the taxpayers the way they did.


 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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1. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 22, 2012, 20:54 SectorEffector
 
Get the player base first, before spending millions. (sounds impossible and for MMORPG's these days it's pretty impossible) Sometimes you can't save your best for one big show, just get something out to gain interest investments from players. MMO's could try starting smaller, make sure the gameplay and the mechanics will draw players in further, then worry about paying up the arse to fund artists.

I'd be on edge trying to launch an MMORPG in the days where you need some serious artist force to maintain the graphical standards.

Are there any modest graphically powered MMORPG's aside from Wow?



This comment was edited on Aug 22, 2012, 21:01.
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Q2iICtlIc
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